Ahh the pulling out of the slow cooker, an official sign that winter is coming. Growing up my mom had three kids and a full time job so the slow cooker was a staple at our house. There is just something that I absolutely love about "set it and forget it" appliances like a rice cooker, dishwasher, and of course the slow cooker. Now the old stand by has been brought to this century with some pretty fancy features, I joke that they have power licks and windows these days. Here are four very different models that I think sum up what you will see when you think about buying one.
1. Cuisinart 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker
This fancy pants no stove top required model is like an electric skillet, steamer and slow cooker in one. If you are a fan of cooking on electric this is great for you because you can literally do everything in one pot. I love doing less dishes and there is something about keeping everything together that I think enhances flavors. The one thing that this does not do is let you cook on the stove if you wish to.
2. The Classic CrockPot
The old standby has gotten hip to the stainless steel trend and even features a warm setting. If you want the "no muss no fuss" slow cooker look no further. And at 22 bucks it wont break the bank. A few things to note, you cannot braise or saute in this, with no built in timer wont automatically switch to warm when your food is done. Also the 3qt size could be limiting to some people.
3. All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker with Cast-Aluminum Insert
This is a wish list worthy kitchen staple! I wanted this for two years before I got it and it was defiantly worth the wait. It has low & high settings that automatically switch to warm when your desired time is up. The non stick insert is stove top safe and light enough to carry, I also love the iconic All Clad handles on the warming unit. I call this an investment piece at $249 but sometimes you do get what you pay for. Overall this is my favorite and it is the one you will find in my kitchen making everything from overnight steel cut oatmeal to pulled pork.
4. Breville Stainless-Steel 7-Quart Slow Cooker
At $129.00 this unit has many similar features to the All Clad minus the timer. You can take the insert to the stove for searing and then back to the unit for slow cooking. However reviewers say that the non stick coating is extra delicate. If you want to up your slow cooker game this is a good option.
What is your favorite slow cooker recipe? Share it in the comments section.